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Veteran broadcaster Charles Arrigo dies, aged 76

Picture from the Times of Malta

Monday 13th February 2006 - Veteran broadcaster Charles Arrigo, whose distinctive voice has narrated news, novels and national events on radio and television in a career spanning nearly 60 years, died this morning aged 76.
Mr Arrigo, who has been described as "the dean of broadcasting", collapsed at Public Broadcasting Services where he was conducting his work as a broadcaster to which he had dedicated a great part of his life. He passed away in St Lukes hospital.
Mr Arrigo's career in broadcasting started in 1947 when he became the first Maltese male-announcer to be employed with Rediffusion, the cable radio network.
His death was announced a few hours later before the scheduled last episode of the novel Qalb Ta' Omm (A mother's love) was broadcast. His colleagues at PBS expressed the depth of loss that they felt - he had been a friend, a colleague and a consummate professional of broadcasting.
Brilliant career
Born in Valletta on April 6, 1929, Charles Arrigo studied at the Lyceum and at Perugia University.
During an interview four years ago he had explained how he fell into the profession of broadcasting "by chance' when he applied for a post as a broadcaster with Xandir Malta to earn some money while he awaited results. - The rest is history.
In 1947, a young Mr Arrigo, with his impeccable accent, became the first Maltese male-announcer to be employed with Rediffusion Limited - imprinting his voice into the minds and hearts of the Maltese public.
A distinguished career in broadcasting followed. In 1950 he was appointed producer of drama and documentaries, in 1971 he became the assistant head of radio programmes and, three years later, he was appointed head of drama and documentaries. Then, in 1987, he was promoted to deputy head of Xandir Malta.
In 1991 he was appointed executive director on the board of Public Broadcasting Services and Manager Television Malta.
Mr Arrigo was given the opportunity to attend a BBC production course as announcer and newscaster on the BBC World Service in 1959. He returned to the BBC for training for television in 1962.
The veteran was best known for his commentaries on state and religious occasions and for his dramatized readings of Maltese novels on radio.
Young TV viewers know him as Il-Kurunell in the TV Series Villa Sunset. His last live commentary was the installation of Gozo Bishop Mario Grech.
Throughout his career, Mr Arrigo was also involved as an actor with the British Institute players and the Atturi Theatre Group.
In 1995 he was awarded the M.Q.R. medal (Midalja Ghall-Qadi Tar- Repubblika). 
Wettest January in 33 years - Rough sea stops 25 ships outside ports
January was the wettest month in the last 33 years and slightly cooler than the average for that month in the last 10 years, the Meteorological Office said.
With 22 days of rain, the 215.9 mm of the rainfall was well above the average, by 130 mm.
The heaviest downpour happened on January 8, that of 48.6 mm.
The Met Office said that with a mean temperature of 12.3°C, January was also half a degree cooler than the average for the past 10 years.
The daytime, with a mean maximum temperature of 14.8°C, was cooler by almost a degree. The coolest day was recorded on January 24 with 11.4°C.  January nights were slightly warmer than the 10-year average, but only by just 0.1 of a degree. The average night temperature was 9.9°C. The coolest night was January 23, at 5.4°C.  The lowest temperature on record for January was that of January 29, 1981 when the mercury plunged to just 1.4 degrees above freezing.
Rough sea stops 25 ships outside ports and delays arrival of gas, the Times of Malta reported on Thursday 2nd February.
The local ports were closed to traffic since the beginning of that week because of strong northeasterly winds. The Malta Maritime Authority gave priority to the gas carrier Aygaz 5, allowing it to enter Marsaxlokk at the first opportunity to unload the gas for bottling. The Avgaz 5 had been waiting since Saturday for the wind to calm down outside the port of Marsaxlokk.
Many people have been wondering when the rain and wind would stop. But the weatherman finally had good news, saying the wind will abate during the night and today should be a relatively nice day, with sunny periods albeit with some clouds.
The duty officer at the Meteorological Office of Malta International Airport said the strong North East wind, which reached Force 8 yesterday morning was expected to drop to Force 4 this morning and shift to West North West later in the day.
Churned up by the strong wind, the sea showed its fury against the coasts in many locations.
Some damage caused by the strong wind was reported during the night in various localities where trees and electricity poles were knocked down.
Employees of the Public Cleanliness Department of the Ministry of Resources and Infrastructure were called out during the night to Great Siege Road, Valletta and Regional Road, Swieqi to clear the roads of bricks and rubble from collapsed walls.
Members of the Civil Protection Department were also busy clearing the streets of fallen trees and debris. However, no serious incidents were reported and no one was injured when a tree fell on a parked car in Attard early yesterday morning.

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